Former president Barack Obama’s upcoming speech to investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald has caught the eye of US lawmakers — particularly for the six-figure payment Obama is receiving for the appearance.
At least one lawmaker suggested Congress may evaluate Obama’s presidential pension because of it.
House Oversight and Government Reform chair Jason Chaffetz commented in a USA Today story published Wednesday that said lawmakers may reintroduce a bill that would target presidential pensions if a former commander-in-chief earns outside income of at least $400,000.
While in office, Obama vetoed the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act — a bill sponsored by Chaffetz that would have capped a president’s pension at $200,000 a year and phased out pensions if they earned $400,000 or more from other sources.
USA Today’s tweet Wednesday night read: “Obama’s $400,000 speech could prompt Congress to go after his pension.”
Chaffetz responded: “Yes, it will.”
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) May 4, 2017
“The Obama hypocrisy on this issue is revealing,” Chaffetz added. “His veto was very self-serving.”
“The basic premise here is, if they want to go fishing in Utah for the rest of their lives, they can do that. They will be well compensated for the rest of their lives,” Chaffetz said. “If they’re going to make millions of dollars, the taxpayers shouldn’t have to subsidize them.”
Obama reasoned that his veto was based upon “unintended consequences” that would have affected his predecessors.
“President Obama will deliver speeches from time to time,” said former White House spokesman Eric Schultz. “Some of those speeches will be paid, some will be unpaid, and regardless of venue or sponsor, President Obama will be true to his values, his vision, and his record.”